My wife asked me to do a guest post and share what it’s like being a homeschool dad; at least, what it’s like in our home. What I have to share with you isn’t meant to be instructional, as much as it is to simply share a bit more about our family from another perspective.
Before meeting my wife, I knew I wanted to homeschool my children. Knowing that the burden of actually teaching would largely fall on whomever I married, I didn’t think it was likely I’d find someone who would share my desire to homeschool. But God knew better. Imagine my delight when my future bride indicated she wanted to homeschool… I’m not worthy!
Many (if not most) homeschool families are one-income families, and we’re no different. The thing is, the company for whom I worked went out of business about ten years ago, and I’ve been self-employed ever since. Despite the financial challenge, I’ve always viewed my self-employment as a blessing in disguise. Working at home has allowed me to participate in our children’s homeschooling in ways not possible were I to be gone all day at a regular job. My children have access to me all day long if they need anything, and I’m free to participate in things like field-trips. That doesn’t mean I can always stop working at a drop of the hat, because when I have a project or commission, I don’t get paid until it’s complete. That means I lock my studio and don’t come out until my job is finished. But unless I have tight deadlines to meet, I’m usually readily available to my family.
Regarding the level of my direct involvement in our children’s education: First, homeschooling is not all about sitting at the kitchen table doing schoolwork. It’s about making every daily event a life lesson. In that respect, I’m hugely involved. What about the actual academic work? I do have opportunities to add to anything my wife happens to be teaching, though I sometimes overstep my bounds when my wife isn’t looking for my added commentary. However, we’ve discussed my taking on more actual teaching duties as the children get older, but it relates to certain topics I wish them to learn. Which leads us to…
I continue to be amazed that schools don’t include basic logic as a requirement, because it’s as important and essential to a person’s intellectual life as the three R’s. There are a lot of people who have those three R’s down, and yet cannot reason their way out of a paper sack. I’m tempted to go on and on about this ridiculous state of affairs, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that I was insistent that our children learned basic logic, philosophy, and Christian apologetics, because I want them to be prepared to give a well-reasoned defense of their world view (1 Peter 3:15). At the end of the day, that’s really why I wanted to homeschool our children. I wanted them to have a robust world view which could withstand all the false ideas they would eventually encounter and which would challenge and attempt to undermine their faith. I knew they wouldn’t get the equipping they needed in a government school. Fortunately, God blessed me with a talented and committed wife who is, as far as I’m concerned, the best homeschool mom in the world… Plus, she’s a hot babe… I’m not worthy!